Candidates for N.O. mayor run as the landscape is altered

The presumed major candidates for mayor made a point of signing up on the first day of qualifying. But a lot about the landscape has changed.

"This election marks the first time New Orleans is switching to a fall cycle from those tradition spring cycles," said Mike Sherman, FOX 8 political analyst.

Grabbing voters' attention will be critical.

"Due to the condensed election cycle, that means they'll have to be more aggressive - one, in attracting the attention of voters; two, engaging in advertising; and three, definitely trying to do some door-to-door canvassing in Orleans Parish to connect with voters," said pollster Silas Lee.

"There's two challenges if you're a candidate - first, you need to convince voters to support you, then you need to convince them to get out to the polls.  What we saw in the last presidential election was the group that was most excited to come to the polls determined the victor. The same will be true here in New Orleans," said Sherman.

A lot has changed in the city in terms of the electorate.

"The brain-gain in New Orleans post-Katrina has added a whole new generation of voters to our rolls, but our chronic and super chronic voters, those people that don't miss an election, they generally tend to be a little older voters who been here for a longer period of time. Let's see if any candidate can motivate that newer generation of voters," said Sherman.

"The majority is still African-American chronic voters, usually 40 and up. It depends on the election," Lee said.

The  Orleans Parish Registrar's Office provided FOX 8 News the number of registered voters, in terms of age groups.

18-20...7,835

21-34...75,741

35-44...44,839

45-54...40,164

55-64...42, 763

65 and older...46, 231

Lee said a lot depends on the candidate and his or her message.

"Bernie Sanders was able to mobilize and attract a significant number of younger and millennial voters," Lee said.

The new mayor will no doubt focus on growing jobs in New Orleans, and some young people think the tech area should be high on the list.

The election will happen as voter participation in New Orleans mayor's races has declined.

"It's gone from about 68 percent in the late 90s to 35, 38 percent in 2014, and that's the big challenge - stimulating voters and increasing voter turnout," said Lee.

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